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What’s next in the retail market

Even without the pandemic, retailers have had to be innovative to survive, with everything from small-format stores, buy-online-pickup-in-store offerings, and full-blown experience centres that focus on offering something unique to entice visitors, all being seen more frequently.

The good news is that AV technology has a huge role to play in all of these models. The latest IOTA report from AVIXA forecasts a CAGR from 2022-2027 of 6.5% for the sector.  However, AVIXA suggests that retail will be one of the slowest sectors to bounce back from the pandemic; revenues for pro AV are not expected to exceed 2019 values until 2025.

Displays are leading the charge – in fact, video displays represent almost 30% of the sector’s pro-AV revenues. LED continues to creep up on flat panel as larger installations resume.

One clear trend in terms of digital signage is the move away from static displays to interactive offerings. Once a consumer has been enticed by relevant content – perhaps targeted through the integration of sensors and built-in cameras – they’re more likely to remain engaged if they can interact with that content. Touchscreens remain a popular choice, but enabling people to use their own smartphones is on the rise.

Digital signage technology also provides retailers with information on conversions, shopper viewing habits and how they behave in a physical store. This data is likely to become more important going forward.

In fashion stores, the use of displays is also spreading into technologies such as digital mannequins and interactive mirrors where shoppers can try on clothes virtually and see items in a more realistic setting. One step beyond this, 3D holographic signage is on the horizon ­– said to significantly improve dwell time and trigger positive emotions.

Video walls are also helping to immerse consumers in the shopping experience. 4K, super thin and curved screens are increasingly being used to provide an eye-catching focal point in store, or to attract and entertain browsers. Expect to also see more transparent LED displays in the future.

Contactless shopping is also a growth area, particularly in the grocery sector, utilising advances such as augmented reality, machine learning and computer vision. Products can also be tracked via sensors so buyers can be automatically charged without having to wait in a queue. Future developments could include digital assistants and navigation tools to guide shoppers to the right product, and more QR codes to provide additional product information quickly. Also expect to see more ways in which in-store digital and personal devices can be merged.

Where do I find the most important companies in retail at ISE?

The first stop for visitors interested in the retail sector should be the Digital Signage & DOOH Zone in Hall 6. Here you’ll find big names such as Brightsign, Intuiface, Infinitus, Yodeck and Scala. Of course, an effective retail strategy will involve more than digital signage, so technology for the sector is also on show elsewhere across the Fira. Absen, Barco, Epson, Leyard, LG Electronics and Philips Professional Displays are among the names showcasing the latest display technologies in Hall 3; and in Hall 5, HYPERVSN is showing its holographic displays. Barix in Hall 7 is known for its retail audio products powering audio streaming, in-store announcements and ad delivery, while B-Tech, Vogel’s and Arthur Holm are among the companies offering those all-important screen mounts. They can also be found in Hall 3.

 

 

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